The Violent Femmes were founded by Brian Ritchie (bassist), and Victor DeLorenzo (percussionist) as a rhythm section, and became a full-fledged band upon the arrival of Gordon Gano (singer/guitarist). In its early days, the band frequently played coffee houses and street corners. They were discovered (and subsequently forgotten) by James Honeyman-Scott (of The Pretenders) August 23, 1981 when the band was busking on a street corner in front of the Oriental Theatre, the Milwaukee venue that The Pretenders would be playing later that night. Chrissie Hynde invited them to play a brief acoustic set after the opening act. The band signed to Slash Records and released a self-titled album that they had recorded in July 1982. The music was an innovative combination of American folk music and indie rock, and commonly referred to as "folk-punk".